Bonnyrigg Rose have announced they will stand against proposals to allow Celtic and Rangers ‘B’ teams into the Scottish Lowland League.

Clubs in the fifth tier of Scottish football will decide today whether or not to admit the Celtic and Rangers youth teams into the division after talks were confirmed last week. But Bonnyrigg Rose will stand against it after a fan consultation.

Robbie Horn's side will stand against Celtic and Rangers 'B' teams.

Robbie Horn’s side will stand against Celtic and Rangers ‘B’ teams. (Photo by Alan Harvey – SNS GroupSNS Group via Getty Images)

A statement reads: “After a 72 hour consultation process with our members on the Celtic and Rangers B team proposal, they have decided by an overwhelming majority to reject said proposal by 95% to 5%. We have also taken on board the views of non-members over this period.

“They come to games and invest in the club such as through our weekly lottery and 50/50 club draws, supporters’ wall and other fundraising initiatives etc. so we felt it was important to give those supporters a voice as well.

“We have complete trust in our support to make the right decision, which is why they make decisions such as these in the same way they made the right choice to swap junior for senior football three years ago and have been with us every step on that journey to the present day.

 

“For context, the votes received over the 72 consultation process via phone & conference calls, emails and text messages were over double those that made that decision, so we feel it is a representative sample of the feelings of our whole support base.

“A number of reasons for rejection were raised as part of the consultation process, but the over-riding one was that of sporting integrity which has been an overused phrase over the past couple of seasons. It isn’t that long ago that 13 East of Scotland sides and their board decided unanimously not only to allow us and 25 others entry to the East of Scotland League, but to allow us to play at the same level as existing teams and creating the Conferences.

“If that didn’t happen we wouldn’t have been promoted to the Lowland League at the first attempt as we would have been in (at least) the 2nd tier of EoS football if we were made to join at the bottom and who knows what might have happened then. They are the only league we can hold up as putting sporting integrity ahead of anything else.

“If the league board is prepared as per the documents received and statement issued to propose two additional clubs to the league, (which requires SFA approval as we were given a one season dispensation to expand to 17 teams from 16) the priority of clubs who have been vocal on sporting integrity calling for pyramid play-offs to take place should be to take clubs from Tier 6 that meet the criteria via application over any other club wishing to parachute in.”

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